If you haven't found your ideal advent calendar, maybe the beauty ones are a little out of budget or someone you know isn't keen on chocolate (it can happen), then help is at hand with today's 'how to' post. The idea for this DIY advent calendar came from desperately wanting a beauty advent calendar, but at the same time wanting something within my budget and also one which wouldn’t lead to more waste. I'd gathered quite a stash of beauty samples through purchase promotions and from attending some events and it gave me the idea to make my own beauty advent calendar. That way I could use up the products, reduce waste and save some money. I headed to Pinterest for some crafting inspiration, tweaked some ideas and came up with this design which I didn’t need any specialist materials for. In fact I was able to re-use many things I already had at home and I was really happy with how it turned out.
I shared DIY advent calendar on social media and people were interested to know how I made it. So this year I thought I’d do a little how to guide and show you how to create your own advent calendar. I made mine into a beauty themed one with some chocolates thrown in for good measure, but the beauty of this design is you can easily adapt it for anyone. It’ll work equally well for sweets or chocolate, mini lego figures, little toys or even stationery. Be as creative as you want!
You will need
- 1 copper wire or white coat hanger*
- 24 toilet roll middles - don’t worry if you can’t get hold of 24 - see instructions below
- White or metallic poster paint
- Paint brushes
- Metallic (gold, silver, bronze) pens
- White tack
- Advent calendar filling - e.g. beauty samples or full sized items such as lipstick, sweets, mini toys etc.
- Christmas, metallic coloured gift paper or brown paper
- Gift ribbon
- Craft cutting board
- Thin knitting needle
*I used a copper coat hanger for mine, but a thin bare branch, a sturdy branch of fir tree or a broken Christmas Tree branch would be great too.
Once the paint has fully dried, you can number and decorate the white tubes. I went for a metallic look for the stars and numbers using Sharpies for ease. But you can go wild with the creativity and stick on stars or numbers, use paint, have a red and white colour scheme or a festive green look, it's totally up to you.
After the holes have been made in each tube, it's time to close down the edges which is quite simple.
Start with the bottom and gently fold the tube down on each side, one side over the other to form a concave shape.
Then place the advent gift inside the tube. If the calendar is for you, get someone to help you out and fill it for you, so everything is mixed up and you won't know which day has which gift. My mum did my one and I saw that sometimes she'd add in a little chocolate as well as the beauty gift as a little bonus which I thought was a great idea.
After all the tubes or packages have been filled with gifts, they can be tied to the hanger/branch etc. Make sure to jumble up the numbering to create more of an advent surprise.
You can also easily create a cascading look by varying the length of the string and ribbon
Paint the toilet roll middles in your chosen colour(s) and let them dry fully. This is a great activity for children to join in on too.
If you're unable to get hold of 24 toilet roll middles, don't worry. Use as many as you have and you can easily make up the numbers by making simple little paper pockets out of the gift or brown paper. You can then tie these up with string to attach to the hanger.
Double up a rectangular piece of gift paper so it's stronger. The size of the paper is totally up to you. Fold the paper in half to create the pocket, fold in the 2 sides and seal with clear or Christmas tape. Once you've filled the paper pocket with the advent gift, fold down the top to create the pocket and tie it up with the string to close it.
If you're short on time, you could skip the toilet roll middles completely and just use paper to make packages. You'll save time on painting and decorating if using gift paper and you can use little labels which you can number. I think using some brown paper mixed in with the gift paper will create a lovely contrast and a great end result too.
After you've decorated the tubes and everything has dried, you will need to make a small hole in the back of each tube so that it can be attached the hanger/branch etc.
This can be tricky, so please be careful. For this I used a thin-ish knitting needle and some white tack. Place the tube on a safe surface (something you won't break or damage such as a craft board).
Place a little white tack underneath where you want the hole to be, making sure it's not close to the edge and then pierce a little hole by pushing the needle through the card and into the tack.
Remove the white tack and you will have a little hole which you can thread with the string/ribbon etc.
Once the gift is inside, you can seal the bottom of each tube with white tack. This makes sure the gift doesn't fall out, but makes it easy to open to get the gift each day. However if the gift is really light, you may not need the white tack.
When closing up the top of the tube, the side with the hole should be folded down first so that it won't pop open when tied to the hanger/branch etc.
Previously I've made the advent calendar extra special by including a gift to be opened on Christmas Day. In the past I've made this one the most luxurious, choosing something like a Diptyque candle or perfume. That's one option, but the gift can be anything you think the person will like, it doesn't have to be too expensive at all.
And there you have it, your one of a kind DIY advent calendar is ready!!!
Let me know if you've been inspired to create your own advent calendar this year. I'd love to see your creations and if you use my #justlovelylittlethings hashtag I'd love to share your calendars on my stories.